Even though debit and credit card payments are preferred by the majority of people, some therapists have been reluctant to accept them, thinking it will add paperwork, costs, or time to an already busy administrative workload. But there are also many benefits for patients and practitioners when you accept credit cards at your therapy practice.
Benefits of accepting credit cards for your patients:
- Credit cards are most people’s preferred payment method
- They’re convenient
- They’re faster
- They help track costs more easily
- Patients with an HSA can use their HSA-card instead of having to reimburse themselves from the account
Benefits of accepting credit cards for therapists:
- Credit card payments can save you time on writing receipts and reports
- Patients can have a card on file, which can streamline your check-in process and appointments
- A pre-authorization before an appointment means you can easily collect payment for missed appointments
- Credit cards have been shown to improve collection rates
The bottom line is that if you’re not accepting credit cards, you’re probably sacrificing from your own bottom line when it comes to both time, and cash flow.
The good news is that accepting mobile credit card payments is super easy with ChargeStripe, whether you’re a solo practitioner, or running a practice.
Here are step-by-step instructions.
1. Download the ChargeStripe app
2. Set up your Stripe account in the ChargeStripe app
If you already have a Stripe account, just enter your account info to connect it.
If you don’t have a Stripe account, you can get one right in ChargeStripe. The initial set up will take you about 30 minutes, so set aside a little time, and make sure you have the following information at hand.
- Business email address: This is your log-in, and it’s where Stripe will send you notifications about payments. If you have a business email already set up, use that one, or set yourself up with a Gmail address like “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- Physical business address: Stripe currently supports customers in 23 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. If you don’t have a specific business location, you can use your home address here.
- Business phone number: You’ll also need to enter a “customer support” number, so you may want to set up a free Google Voice number if you don’t have a dedicated business phone line.
- Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number: If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll pay any income taxes under your SSN. If you have an LLC or S-Corp set up for your business, use your Federal EIN.
- Website or social media profile: Stripe uses this as part of your verification process. If your business doesn’t have a website, the quickest thing to do is set up a Facebook page.
- Personal information: Including your name, home address, birthday, and last four digits of your Social Security Number.
- Banking information: You’ll need a checking account routing number and bank account number. Stripe will transfer payments to this account.
It might seem like a lot of information, but the application process helps make sure that people aren’t using Stripe for fraudulent activities. This is good for you because maintaining security and a high level of customer trust means that customers won’t think twice about handing you their credit card to make a purchase, and you can assure them you’re processing payments securely.
Stripe may take up to a couple business days to approve your account, or flag any issues. Once you’ve passed the application process, you’re ready to start accepting payments!
Your first payment will take 7-10 days to process and transfer, so you may want to make a small payment to yourself (like $1.00) to start the process. After that, payments are generally transferred within 2 business days.
3. Accept credit card payments, and send invoices from anywhere
With ChargeStripe you can accept credit card payments from anywhere. Swipe with an optional card reader in person. Take a payment over the phone, and type in card information. Scan a card using your phone’s camera. Or send a payment request by email or text message along with your appointment confirmations or paperwork.
You can also save clients securely, set up subscription packages for weekly sessions, and save charges you make frequently like new client evaluation appointments. Send a client a receipt right from the app, anytime, and see when money is being transferred to your account. You and your clients will love how easy it is.
For free templates and guides that you can use within your counseling practice, check out our resources for therapists.